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With Theeppori Benny, we have tried to amend the mistakes we did in Vellimoonga: Joji Thomas

Theeppori Benny, starring Arjun Ashokan and Jagadeesh, will release in theatres on September 22

With Theeppori Benny, we have tried to amend the mistakes we did in Vellimoonga: Joji Thomas
Posters of Vellimoonga and Theeppori Benny

Last Updated: 03.45 PM, Sep 21, 2023


Political satires have only been attempted with utmost care by Malayalam filmmakers and scriptwriters, keeping in the mind how politically-aware the audience in Kerala are and how this can also lead to them to lambasting a film if it doesn’t engage them. But directors Rajesh Mohan and Joji Thomas, who are making their debut with Arjun Ashokan’s Theeppori Benny , won’t have to worry about that.

The reason being that the duo had earlier worked together in one of the most celebrated political satires in the past decade – Vellimoonga , which had them as an associate director and scriptwriter, respectively.

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, Joji tells us that their upcoming movie, which is set to hit theatres on September 22, is a simple film that will not let the audience down.

A poster of Theeppori Benny
A poster of Theeppori Benny

‘Didn’t want our script destroyed by another director’

“Both Jagadeesh chettan and Arjun Ashokan’s characters have equal importance in the movie,” he says. “Jagadeesh chettan plays a character named Vattakoottil Chettayi and Arjun will be seen as a typical rural youngster who does random jobs and also writes PSC exams. But at a particular phase in his life, how he starts a spark or becomes ‘theeppori’ form the plot of the movie.”

On choosing to direct the film with Rajesh, he says, “We didn’t want to give our script to someone else and destroy it. Rajesh had worked as an associate director in Vellimoonga and we have been friends for long. We are able to communicate our ideas with each other well and that’s why we decided to direct this film together.”


‘Made a few mistakes with Vellimoonga’

Ask him if Theeppori Benny also has the same humour as Vellimoonga and he explains, “With Vellimoonga, we did a few mistakes, especially in terms of how we portrayed the politicians. To bring humour, we gave it a bit of an over-the-top treatment. Unlike the protagonist in the film, there’s also a lot of good politicians. Many called me after Vellimoonga and told me that they laughed throughout the film but it didn’t show anything good that they did. So, this film could be me amending those wrongs.”

Politics is connected with what happens in the entire country and it’s a serious topic, Joji says. “Politics decides how a country’s future is shaped up. Both Rajesh and I have approached this film with that seriousness,” he adds.

Theeppori Benny also has Minnal Murali fame Femina George and Sudheesh in pivotal characters.

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